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Top 10 e-commerce SMS templates to increase sales

Top e-commerce SMS templates

So, you want to increase your sales? It’s time you leveraged SMS marketing.

You’ve probably heard about how SMS marketing has a whopping 98% open rate. But did you know that 90% of text messages are read within the first 3 minutes, and the response rate is around 45%?

Wondering exactly how to get started with SMS marketing? You’re in luck. In this article, we’ll offer you our top 10 e-commerce SMS templates. You can customize them to suit your needs and start using them straight away.

But first, let’s go over a few details about SMS marketing.

SMS marketing laws

Be aware of the law in your country or region regarding SMS marketing messages. In the United States, you have to comply with the Telephone Customer Protection Act and CAN-SPAM. In Europe, you must be in line with the GDPR.

Basically, what this means is that you must get customers’ express permission before you can send them marketing messages. Customers must opt-in to receive your messages, and you can only send them the information they have agreed to receive.

Customers must also have the option to unsubscribe at any time.

There are serious consequences for breaking these laws, so make sure your marketing fits within these regulations.

Why use SMS marketing?

How many unread emails are sitting in your personal inbox right now? If you’re like most people, probably a lot!

SMS is different. When your phone buzzes in your pocket, you probably struggle to resist the temptation to check it and see who contacted you. Wherever you are, curiosity gets the better of you.

Done right, SMS marketing is a powerful tool. It brings you closer to your customers and allows them to stay well-informed about their orders and any important news about your store.

A customer’s phone number is highly personal information, and you can do a lot with it.

For an e-commerce store, having such a direct connection to your customer is priceless. Therefore, you need to use this connection wisely.

You don’t want to annoy your customers or interrupt their day, so make sure you’re sending a well-planned message that they will be happy to receive.

Don’t overdo it. Choose a few important SMS e-commerce templates and use them sparingly.

Customers will unsubscribe in a heartbeat if your messages are too intrusive.

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Tips for great e-commerce SMS marketing messages

Below you’ll find 10 essential templates to help e-commerce businesses get started with SMS marketing. But before we get to them, here are some important pointers to remember when sending any type of SMS marketing message:

  • Personalize the following templates to create relevant SMS messages that your e-commerce customers will be happy to receive.
  • Use first names and send offers on relevant products.
  • Always include a call to action. Let your customer know exactly what steps you want them to take next. Make it clear and simple to follow (click on a link, text back)
  • Use persuasive language. You have a limit of 160 characters, so write copy that is brief and impactful.

Now that’s out of the way, let’s look at our top 10 SMS e-commerce templates.

New customer welcome SMS

If a customer has opted in to receive SMS messages from you, that’s excellent news.

They have given you a highly valuable piece of information, their personal phone number, and permission to use it.

Why not thank them with a friendly welcome message and throw in a discount to sweeten the deal?

Hi (name). Thanks for opting-in to receive messages from us at (company name.) To show our gratitude here’s 10% off your first order with the discount code: FIRST

Promotional discount SMS

We mentioned that customers can unsubscribe at any time from your list, so you’ve got to make it worthwhile for them to stay.

If they aren’t receiving any extra benefits, they might opt-out.

How do you avoid losing your hard-won contacts? Every once in a while, offer an exclusive deal for your SMS subscribers only.

Hi, (name of the person)! Have you seen our new summer collection? Type in (insert code) to claim your exclusive discount and receive 15% off: (your website’s URL).

E-commerce loyalty program SMS

SMS is a great channel to inspire your customers to enroll in a loyalty program. Combine a tempting offer and an easy sign-up process to encourage them to sign up.

Here’s one of our SMS e-commerce templates that you could send to your high-value customers:

Hi (Name), Thanks for shopping with (company name). Do you want to become a VIP member and receive exclusive offers? Hit reply and type: VIP. Thanks, the (company name) team.

Upcoming sales SMS

Who doesn’t get excited by the word “sale”?

Drop your customers a text when a sale starts. Turn up the pressure by emphasizing that the sale is only for a limited time and use words like now and hurry. You’ll have customers scrambling to add your products to their cart.

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Order and shipping confirmation SMS

After your customer places an order, send a text message thanking them for their order, and provide a link so they can track the status of their order.

Thanks for shopping with us, (name)! Your order has been confirmed. To check the status of your order, click here: (link)

When you ship the product, you can send a shipping confirmation via SMS to get your customers excited. This also increases the chances of a successful, stress-free delivery.

Use SMS to ask customers for feedback

Your customer’s opinions are valuable, so try and get feedback as much as you can.

Why not send your customers a personal thank you over text? While you’re there, you can ask for feedback on their last purchase.

Not all customers will bother to go to your website or an external site to write a review. However, SMS can be a great way to get some valuable feedback about your e-commerce store. Remember to make it super easy for customers to give their opinion via SMS.

Thanks for your purchase of (product name). We value your feedback and are always looking to improve. On a scale of 1-10, how was your experience with (company name)?

You can follow up with one or two more questions, but don’t bombard your customers with texts. Instead, consider sending a link to a survey they can complete online.

Start Carts Guru Free Blue 1

Anniversary or birthday SMS

Show your customers you care about them and appreciate their business.

When you gather client data during registration or first purchase, ask for their date of birth. Then, create an SMS campaign to align with each customer’s birthday.

A highly personalized promotion like this will show your customers that your brand goes the extra mile to make them feel special.

Happy Birthday, (name)! To celebrate, we’re offering you a 20% birthday discount with code: BDAY. Valid for the whole month of July!

You can also offer a reward to celebrate other milestones such as the anniversary of their first purchase.

Upcoming holiday SMS

People receive tons of special offers and marketing materials around important shopping holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Christmas.

The vast majority of those messages will land in their email inbox.

Why not send an SMS to stand out from your competition?

Ready for Christmas? Find the perfect present for the man in your life. Browse our limited-edition winter collection here: (insert link). Reply “XMAS” to receive a 10% discount.

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SMS Competitions

A great way to engage your subscribers is through an online competition. Make sure the bar to entry is low so everyone feels like they have a chance to win.

Hi (name), take part in our amazing giveaway! Message YES for a chance to win top prizes like a deluxe pampering set. Thanks, the (company name) team.

Abandoned cart SMS template

Retargeting is a really important tactic if you want to avoid lost sales (and who doesn’t?). It’s crucial to personalize your retargeting text messages. Include a link to their cart and remind the customer if they have any unclaimed discounts.

Hi (name). You didn’t complete your order on (company name). Don’t forget to claim 10% off your first order with code: FIRST. Click here to view your cart: (link)

Get started with SMS Marketing now

And there you go – 10 SMS templates you can start using in your e-commerce store today, so what are you waiting for?

If you want to quickly and painlessly get an SMS campaign off the ground, Carts Guru has you covered. Just create an account and sync your existing customers, and we will take care of the rest.

Originally Written By Louise
On Apr, 28 2020

How Email Marketing Is Helping Brands Increase Sales Plus 4 Ideas for Content

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

Editor’s Note: This article is part of a series that explores the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on the world of ecommerce. Explore daily insights surrounding the coronavirus crisis or check out these additional resources to help you navigate your marketing strategy during this time.

The global coronavirus pandemic has ushered in an era of unprecedented times: social distancing is requiring people to stay home, businesses to temporarily shutter, and millions to seek unemployment relief while we all collectively work together to stop the spread of the virus. 

Retail is one of the sectors that’s been hit particularly hard. Sales dropped 8.7 percent in March 2020, according to the US Census Bureau. But it’s not all doom and gloom. 

Ecommerce sales are up 37 percent, comparatively between the widespread start of the pandemic in the US (March 15-April 20, 2020) to the beginning of the year (January 1-March 1, 2020), according to research by Klaviyo’s data science team which looked at data across 32,000 businesses that sell online. 

Why are online sales spiking? 

Reasons vary for each business, but one reason is necessity. People are staying home to stay safe, so they need to find an alternative way to get the items they want and need.     

Another reason is a human need for connection. 

“The current crisis is also accentuating emotional drivers, like a sense of connection, that are already core to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand experience…Emotional connections can come from meeting the most basic needs during a time of heightened anxiety and desperation,” said Rich Garnder, vice president for global strategic partnerships at Klaviyo, in an article he penned about why a human need for connection is driving people to shop directly from brands online. 

One easy way to brands can create a connection with customers? Email. 

To see how online businesses have been using email to connect with their customers amid the pandemic, Klaviyo’s data science team looked at a dataset of 18,000 businesses that sell online.

The results are encouraging. 

Within this dataset, both open rates and attributed revenue from email are up significantly since March 15, 2020. Open rates for March 15-April 20, 2020 are up 26 percent compared to the same time period last year. They’re also up 21 percent compared to the first part of 2020 before the pandemic became widespread in the US (January 1-March 1, 2020)

What does this mean? 

Consumers are taking the time to open more emails from brands. It makes sense, considering people have been spending more time at home and less time dealing with the normal hustle and bustle of daily life. 

The data science team saw email attributed revenue is on the rise for online businesses, as well. 

In the chart below, you’ll see that before the pandemic became widespread in the US earlier this year (Jan 1-March 1, 2020), brands were generating $8.5 million dollars per day through email marketing. When the pandemic became widespread (March 15-April 20, 2020), that number went up 68 percent—these businesses are generating $14.3 million dollars per day via email.

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

Upon closer examination, revenue spiked during the week of April 13-17, 2020 when the first round of stimulus checks began to hit consumers’ bank accounts. Revenue attributed to email on April 16-17th, the highest performing email days, was at $24.5 million dollars per day and was more than half of what these online businesses generated across Black Friday (Nov 29, 2019 – $49.1 million) and Cyber Monday (Dec 2, 2020 – $47.0 million). 

Since mid-March, 2020, Klaviyo has also been surveying brands daily about how the pandemic has been impacting their business, and the data science team’s analysis aligns with the results of those daily polls

Consumers may have held onto their purse strings a bit tighter when states began to issue stay-at-home orders and kept their spending focused on essentials like food and toilet paper, but they’ve since been shifting their dollars to new essentials categories like health and fitness, beauty, and home goods. 

Regardless of whether their sales are up, down, or flat, online brands say the one universal tactic that’s working to help them stay connected to their community of customers is email marketing. They’re using email to talk about how they’re responding to the coronavirus pandemic, ask their community for their help, offer promotions to their customers, promote new products, or, in some cases, to re-position what they’re selling. 

Since data shows that email marketing has been particularly effective for online brands during this time, our data science team dove deep into the data of those 18,000 online businesses to see specifically how email campaigns (one-time sends as opposed to pre-scheduled automated emails) have been performing, as well. 

Overall, 30 percent of brands that have sent a campaign since the pandemic became widespread in the US (March 15-April 20, 2020) have generated at least as much revenue as their best performing Cyber Weekend campaign last year (November 28-December 6, 2019). 

With so many exceptional campaigns, the data science team took a closer look at the best of the best—email campaigns that have generated 5-10X a brand’s typical revenue driven by email—to find successful strategies other brands can use as they adjust their marketing strategies to navigate our current reality. 

What they found? Four common content themes among these emails: sales and promotions, pre-orders and back-in-stocks, home entertainment projects, and shift toward selling face masks. 

Let’s take a closer look at how the high-performing brands are creating effective email content across these specific content categories.

1 | Sales and promotions

Among the brands that have seen the biggest increase in sales, the most popular content they’re sharing is content about sales and promotions. 

One way these brands could be effectively using content about sales and promotions: To clear out inventory and free up cash to operate and pay for overhead expenses, according to the Wall Street Journal.  

Two additional ways brands are specifically using discounts are to sell items for holidays or to link them to the current moment. 

The holiday promotions they’ve used have coincided nicely with Easter and Mother’s Day—times when consumers may like to treat family and friends to an extra special gift since they can’t be together.  

The coronavirus-related promotions have featured extra-sensitive messaging that explains why they’re offering their customers a discount at this time or how they’re specifically targeting promotions to help healthcare and other frontline workers. 

You can see many examples of how brands are effectively using these types of discounts in each of the daily insights here, though let’s take a look at a few specific examples. 

Rufflebutts

Rufflebutts is an online children’s clothing store that offered an Easter “daily-deal” and outfit inspiration to celebrate the Easter Holiday.

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Pistol Lake

Pistol Lake, an online clothing store for men and women, sent this coronavirus-related promotional email to their customer community with a very clear explanation that times are difficult and why they’re offering their merchandise at a discounted price. 

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

If you’re interested in learning how to get started with sales and promotional planning, now is the best time to start especially with Mother’s Day right around the corner.  

Looking forward to other Spring holidays? Here are a few resources to help you effectively plan your upcoming sales and promotions. 

2 | Pre-Orders and Back-in-Stocks

Among the brands that have seen some of the highest sales recently, the second type of content they’ve been using are pre-orders and back-in-stocks notifications. 

Pre-orders essentially allow your customers to order and pay for a product you haven’t yet released. Back-in-stock notifications let your customers know when a product they’ve explicitly expressed interest in is available again so they can make a purchase.  

These high-performing brands could be using these two specific tactics both as a way to circumvent supply chain and shipping issues that have been caused by this current pandemic as well as to limit financial risk. 

Pre-orders help brands forecast the demand for a product so they can gauge how much of the product to produce, which in turn helps them limit excess inventory from sitting on the books and free up cash. They also help brands collect money from customers upfront, which can help them immediately pay to produce the product and cover other essential business needs they may need cash to cover. 

With pre-orders, brands have been creating product detail pages on their websites with clear, detailed information about the product, and when customers can expect it will be shipped to them.

With back-in-stock notifications, brands are using popup forms on their website, on which customers can check a box and add their email address if they want to be notified when the product becomes available again. When customers sign up for their waitlist, the brand has been able to successfully grow their overall email list, as well. 

Here are two examples of brands that have set up a pre-order or back-in-stock notification.

Revolve

Revolve, a women’s online clothing retailer, offered a sweatshirt from Frankies Bikinis that was available for pre-order. The product description features estimated delivery dates and clearly sets realistic consumer expectations. 

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Who Gives A Crap

Who Gives A Crap, a brand that sells toilet paper online, sold out and used a popup form to collect email addresses for their waitlist so they can let customers know when their products are available again.  Their popup form also serves as a great way to communicate with new customers that they can’t be fulfilling new orders at the moment. 

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Learn more about how Who Gives A Crap has used this strategy and explore this guide to learn how to set up back-in-stock notifications on your site.  

3 | Home entertainment projects

Another type of content that brands with increasing sales are using is content that centers around self-entertainment and staying active and engaged with projects while at home.  

Brands may be using this type of content since states have issued stay-at-home orders, which leave people with more free time on their hands while at home. 

“One game maker has seen U.S. puzzle sales soar 370 percent year-over-year in the past two weeks,” reported Hannah Miller for CNBC.  

In their analysis, this is a trend the data science team observed, as well. 

Brands that sell products online in the toys and hobbies category have seen sales increase substantially since March 15, 2020.

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

The same is true for brands that sell online in the health and beauty category.

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

The same is true for brands that sell sporting goods online.

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

Brands have been showcasing home entertainment content in many ways, but two of the most popular have been to create virtual classes or downloadable guides that complement their products. 

Several health and fitness brands, for example, are offering free online workout classes that showcase one of their key products viewers would need to do the class, while some children’s toys companies are offering downloadable activity booklets to help adults entertain and teach their kids at home. 

Here are two examples of brands that are using home entertainment as a key component of their content strategy. 

Peloton

Peloton, a health and fitness brand, is offering a 90-day free trial of their on-demand workouts through their app. Usually, this offer is only good for 30 days. While the running and cycling classes complement their treadmill and spin bikes, you don’t need to purchase their equipment to get a workout in. They offer other classes like stretch, HIIT, yoga, cardio dance, and much more.

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

KiwiCo

KiwiCo., an online toys and activity destination for kids, is offering a plethora of activities for kids to do at home, including downloadable guides that complement their subscription box crates. These are a fun and easy way for parents to engage their children in learning activities at home.

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Want to offer your customers home entertainment options that match up with your products? Explore this guide to see how you can include lists of recommended products in your email outreach. 

4 | Face masks

Finally, brands with increasing sales have been featuring content about how they’re either making, selling, or donating face masks to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  

Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended we all wear face masks when in public, brands have been selling them to support the skyrocketing need. They may also be selling them as an alternative way to make money if their current products aren’t ones people are buying at the moment.  

Two apparel and accessories brands who have pivoted their operations to begin manufacturing and selling face masks shared their stories with us. 

They’ve both been particularly careful in how they communicate what they’re selling to their customers. They don’t refer to the masks as “medical masks,” but as “face masks” because they aren’t produced according to specific guidelines that meet the needs of frontline medical workers. 

Here’s an example of Pistol Lake’s face mask and the messaging they’ve included on their product page:

email-marketing-increase-sales-coronavirus

While pivoting your business to begin producing and selling face masks isn’t something everyone can easily do, there are several guides on how to produce the masks, including what types of fabrics and templates to use. Here’s a guide that Pistol Lake found helpful.

Final thoughts

In a time when human connection is more of a need than ever, relationships are incredibly important. Email is a great tool that brands can use to build deeper relationships with customers while keeping them informed and staying connected. 

Many brands are relying on email to talk about how they’re responding to coronavirus, ask their community for their help, promote new products, offer discounts, and show new products that they’re selling to help meet the needs of the moment. 

Among the brands that are seeing unprecedented sales numbers in recent weeks, the most common content they’re sharing tends to feature sales and promotions, pre-orders and back-in-stocks notification, home entertainment projects, and communications about how they’re now selling face masks. 

Originally posted by Christina Dedrick and Marissa McGovern

47 Insanely Practical Work From Home Tips from Our 100% Remote Team

GrooveHQ
The following is a great post from ALEX TURNBULL
Alex is the CEO & Founder of Groove. He loves to help other entrepreneurs build startups by sharing his own experiences from the trenches. Here is a link to the orig
inal article:
https://www.groovehq.com/blog/work-from-home

Last week, my wife and I decided we needed to stock up and hunker down.

We’re washing our hands. We’re social distancing. We’re a bit anxious.

But…we’re extremely fortunate.

We haven’t lost our jobs. The business hasn’t gone under and we have a roof over our heads.

I know it’s crazy right now.

The health crisis is real. There are thousands of people losing their jobs and businesses, with thousands more to come.

With kids home from school, a perplexing economy, and a world in crisis, it’s become impossible to function as normal, but I’m hopeful.

If you’re fortunate enough where business is doing okay, it’s time to adapt to change and plan for the future.

One of those changes, whether you like it or not, is remote.

Truthfully, I didn’t even want to drop this post because I felt weird about the timing, but Nathan encouraged me. 🙂

If you don’t know the Groove story, we’ve been working 100% remotely for the last seven years and know how to manage this lifestyle.

We’ve learned a lot—and so will you.

Our most practical work-from-home tips

This week, I asked the team to share their best strategies for staying productive while working from home.

Below, you’ll find 47 of the most practical work-from-home tips we could come up with—everything from the kind of chair you use to what you should do on your lunch break.

My best work-from-home tips as a founder and CEO

Let me start with a few tips for those of you leading organizations or teams.

Catching a wave

1. Get outside

Weather permitting, I try to get outside for at least a few minutes every day.

I love to surf and I live close to the coast. If it’s warm enough, I try to get down to the water as often as I can.

Even if I can’t surf, a quick walk through our neighborhood does wonders for my productivity when I get back to my computer.

2. Take 20 (for meditation)

Meditation doesn’t need to be a religious thing, and there are tons of great resources out there to help you get started.

I like to spend about 20 minutes a day meditating—usually first thing in the morning. It puts me in the right mental place to start my work with a clear head.

If you’re brand new to meditation, check out the Headspace app, which will introduce you to the practice in just a few minutes a day.

You can also find hundreds of guided meditations for free out on YouTube.

3. Trust the process

As a founder and CEO, my job is to set a direction and to design processes that guide the work of my team.

But even with my commitment to processes, it’s easy as a founder to get impatient—to jump in and try to “help” the team mid-project and unknowingly mess everything up.

No project produces results overnight. Set the direction, design your processes—then get out the way and let your people do what you hired them to do.

4. Trust your people

Yesterday I heard about a company that obviously didn’t trust its employees to stay productive while working from home.

They had managers calling their direct reports every hour—asking what they were working on, whether they were being productive or not.

I’m sorry. But that’s just insane.

Badgering your people is a recipe for resentful, low-performing employees.

All our teams have daily “standups” (we do them through Zoom). The meetings rarely go more than five minutes.

Each team member answers three simple questions:

  1. What did you do yesterday?
  2. What are you going to do today?
  3. Is there anything standing in your way?

Everyone is accountable to the team, not just to me or to their boss.

And, if something is standing in someone’s way, we (as leaders) can take action to remove the impediment immediately—so our people can do their work.

Trust your people.

They’ll be far more likely to do amazing work for you—remote or not.

5. Plan a trip (when you can)

Obviously no one’s traveling right now.

But whenever the world gets back to normal, getting away from my usual surroundings for a few days always recharges me—even if I’m still working.

During normal times, my family and I often travel up to Maine for a change of scenery and to get out of our normal routines.

Even just planning a trip puts some energy in my tank since it gives me something to look forward to.

A peek at my home workstation

Since everyone always asks…

This is my workstation. As with most things in my life, I prefer to keep it simple and uncluttered.

My home workspace

The team’s best work-from-home tips

I wanted to give you more than just my perspective on working from home.

Here (in their words) is what some of the team had to say about how staying productive while working remotely, along with some pictures of their home setups…

Nick McCreath: Co-Founder and Head of Product

Nick McCreath

Currently working from: An isolated farm somewhere in South Africa (no joke, it’s a little village called Bathurst)

1. Don’t expect immediate answers

When you work in an office, it’s easy to see when someone is at their desk, or if they’re tucked away in a meeting room having a conversation with someone else.

You don’t have that luxury in a remote environment. 

You usually have no clue what your teammates are up to even if they’re actively working at any given time. 

Don’t expect answers immediately if you send someone a note. Even if it looks like they’re active on Slack, they might just be busy with other things at the moment.

They’ll get back to you when they’re ready.

2. Get a second screen

I really like having a second screen for my home office. That way I can have Slack or my inbox available without cluttering my desktop or having to navigate between apps, which is a huge time waster.

No extra screen, no problem. Check out Duet or Sidecar, which can turn your iPad into a second monitor.

Nick’s workspace

3. Use lots of Slack emojis

Make liberal use of emojis in Slack or your team chat application.

When people can’t see you physically, it’s tough to know if you got the message, if you’re at your desk, busy, etc… So a little emoji with a status that you’re heads down on a task or out for lunch can go a long way.

It’s also completely okay to snooze notifications for a while so you can focus.

Nick really is on a farm

4. Keep your furry friend close by

Frustrating meeting? Give your pet a belly rub and watch that stress vanish.

5. Be aware of your team’s schedule

When working with teams across multiple time zones, keep tabs on when people’s days start and end so you can make sure you ask for things during times that are convenient for them, not just you.

6. Keep your workspace clean

Do your best to keep your workspace tidy.

I have a routine of tidying up first thing in the morning (not the evening before) which puts my mind in the right place for the day and keeps me as organized as possible.

Lisa Foster, Head of Customer Success

Lisa Foster

Currently working from: Las Vegas, Nevada, where even the casinos are closing right now

1. Stick to your normal schedule

Stick to a schedule. Have a set shift. Start working at a set time, take a lunch break like normal, wrap up your day just like you were in an office. It’s not a free-for-all; it’s just a location change.

2. Use status updates in Slack

I use status updates and emojis in Slack to keep my whereabouts known.

When I’m on with a customer, in a meeting, or away for lunch, I set my status so people know what I’m doing and whether I’m available or away from my keyword.

3. Have an office, but move around

You need a dedicated space to work, but don’t be afraid to move around too.

Sit outside, in the kitchen, at a coffee shop (whenever that becomes “safe” to do again). See where you like to work and are most productive, then do more of that.

Lisa’s workspace

4. Make a technology backup plan

Have a back up plan for staying connected.

Know what you’ll do if you have an internet outage or your computer crashes to get yourself back online asap. Don’t wait until it happens; have a plan in advance for getting back up and running quickly.

Marcin Bunsch, Head of Engineering

Marcin Bunsch

Currently working from: Kraków, Poland

1. Establish rituals

Have a ritual for start and finish of work. It’s very easy to blur the lines, so you need something that marks the start of work, like getting dressed or making a pot of coffee.

More importantly, make sure you have an end-of-day ritual so you can switch off thinking about work and start resting.

2. Change clothes when you’re done with work

Get dressed for work, but then change clothes when you’re done. This helps me maintain work-life balance—even when the commute is 3 steps long.

Antonio Marcello, Marketing

Antonio Marcello

Currently working from: Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

1. Add 10 minute breaks to your schedule

Try to establish a routine, including one or two 10 minute breaks throughout your day.

2. Eat meals away from your desk

Don’t work through your meals. Stand up and go somewhere else in your house to eat—preferably away from your desk.

3. Reach out if you’re feeling isolated

Take advantage of the company’s tools to organize and communicate your work better (Trello, Confluence, Drive, Slack, etc.). And if you’re feeling alone or isolated, let someone know!

Your work friends are just one message away! 🙂

Cristian Todorovic, Design

Cristian Todorovic

Currently working from: Berlin, Germany

1. Put your phone in the other room

Make sure there are no distractions around your working space. I leave my phone in the other room and only check it during lunch time.

2. Have some basic fitness equipment

Every other day, I grab my dumbbells and fire up a 15–20min session. You’d be surprised how many exercises you can do just with a simple set of dumbbells.

3. Raise your laptop

Stand up and put your laptop on any higher surface, I use a regular komoda from Ikea as my improvised standing desk and it’s great.

4. Get away from the screen

Your productivity is a finite resource and it will reach a peak sometime during the day, so the best way for me to recharge is to move away from the screen.

Go walk your dog, grab a snack behind your house, go for a 15-20min walk.

You’ll be surprised how much these simple things will help you reset and get extra hours of productivity in your day.

Ena Sadikovic, Design

Ena Sadikovic

Currently working from: Setúbal, Portugal

1. Invest in good headphones

Get a pair of good headphones for minimizing distractions from outside. I find this super important for creative work as it helps to stay in the flow.

2. Schedule your work

I sit down in the morning and plan out how much time I’ll need for each task I have coming up. It helps me stay productive and it keeps me from overcommitting.

Erika Trujillo, Customer Success

Erika Trujillo

Currently working from: Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.

1. Use small packages for snacks

Have snack sized packages of items, and not large bags.

Keep a happy appetite but avoid the binges by preparing smaller sized food items and fruits ahead of time.

1. Don’t sit all day

Regular standing breaks and stretches help keep me loose and focused when I may get tunnel vision while working from home.

I use my Apple Watch to remind me to move every now and then. You can also use a mobile app on your phone. I used Stand Up! before I got my watch.

Erika’s workspace

Glenn Roberts, Engineering

Glenn Roberts

Currently working from: Australia

1. Noise-cancelling headphones

Noise. Cancelling. Headphones. Now.

2. A high-quality headset and microphone

Get a contact-center-quality headset—one that can filter background noise while you’re speaking on a call. I recommend Jabra office headsets.

3. Use ergonomics to your benefit

Get your chair and screen positioned comfortably. Use adjustable swinging arm mounts for external monitors. For laptops, try a Roost laptop stand.

Glenn’s workspace

4. Batch you work

Write in chat rooms, write emails, share screenshots, record screencasts.

On the receiving side, process your communication channels in batches, when you are ready. Turn off unimportant notifications that interrupt you.

Jared Scheel, Engineering

Jared Scheel

Currently working from: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

1. Set boundaries with family and friends

Set clear boundaries and expectations with family and friends. Just because you work at home does not mean you are freely available during all hours of the day.

2. Create a separate, focused space for work

Your kitchen table might do in a pinch, but separating environments will help you focus during work hours and disengage during home hours.

Jared’s workspace

3. Turn your camera on during meetings

Let people see you on video calls. Seeing other people’s faces builds empathy and trust, encourages (some) level of body language expression, and prevents feelings of isolation.

One of our team Zoom calls

Matt Beedle, Engineering

Matt Beedle

Currently working from: Thailand

1. Eliminate distractions

I use Focus, which blocks websites and apps where I’m likely to get sidetracked.

I have it hooked up to my Vitamin-R so when I start a pomodoro, it cuts off Messenger, Airmail, youtube.com and a load of other stuff.

When my pomodoro finishes, everything is automatically re-enabled

2. Find your most productive hours

Work in your most productive hours.

Personally I like to go to bed super early and work early in the morning.

Matthew Spence, Engineering

Matthew Spence

Currently working from: Canterbury, Kent, U.K.

2. Pajamas aren’t for everyone

If you are struggling to get in the right mindset, maybe working in your pajamas isn’t the right option for you. Try getting dressed in whatever you would wear to an office.

1. Create an isolated space

Find an isolated spot where you can work without being interrupted.

If you know there will be people around, noise cancelling headphones can go a long way to creating an isolated “space.”

Spence’s workspace

Melissa Rosen, Marketing & Customer Success

Melissa Rosen

Currently working from: San Diego, California, U.S.A.

1. Put extra effort into planning

Put more time into prep work so you can work asynchronously. We use sprints here and I cannot recommend them highly enough.

Since you won’t be able to grab your coworkers anytime throughout the office, have a plan for deciding what work will get done, who is responsible for what task, and what your deadlines are.

Hold meetings to get any resources or ask any questions before starting work. You’ll be able to work on your own for hours or days at a time without needing to reach out to other team members constantly for more info.

You’ll be way more productive.

2. Ignore any advice that doesn’t work for you

Feel free to ignore any and all suggestions that don’t work for you.

I personally love working from my bed or couch, and I’m definitely not getting out of my pajamas during this pandemic.

Melissa’s favorite workspace

Don’t force it if something isn’t working for you. Do what feels natural and what helps you get things done.

Nathan Collier, Marketing

Nathan Collier

Currently working from: Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.

1. Get a virtual accountability partner

I use a service called FocusMate, which is a bit like virtual coworking.

You schedule a time to do a one-hour video call where you’re committing to work on one major task during that time.

The service matches you with someone else who wants to be productive in that hour.

When the time comes, I log in and we do a video conference call, but we don’t talk. We just work with the camera on and our microphones muted.

I know it sounds weird, but it’s my personal secret weapon for getting a ton of stuff done in a small amount of time. I often do 4–6 sessions a day.

2. Lift your laptop to eye level

I do everything on my MacBook Air. After about a year working remotely, I noticed it was hurting my neck to stare down at a screen all day.

So I bought an adjustable laptop stand that raises the screen to eye level. It’s been a big help for my posture and my neck feels a lot better.

The stand also folds up really easily, making it portable, which has been great since I’ve been stuck at home lately. I normally work from a coworking space.

Nathan’s kitchen table setup

3. Don’t rely on bluetooth headphones for calls

I have a couple of sets of bluetooth headphones that I love and use all the time. But they have a habit of dropping when I’m on Zoom meetings.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to join a meeting and not being able to hear the audio. Or to hear the audio and have people not be able to hear me.

For that reason, I usually use my old corded EarPods that came with my iPhone 6 for calls and meetings. At the very least I always have them nearby.

Tair Assimov, Engineering

Tair Assimov

Currently working from: Barcelona, Spain

1. Work from cafes or coworking spaces (when it’s safe to do so again)

To escape cabin fever, work once or twice a week from cafes, or better, from coworking spaces. This should give you a motivation boost and appreciation of working from home.

But only after COVID. 🙂

2. Don’t skip your workout

Exercise is even more important when working from home because it’s easy to just stay inside all day.

Working remotely gives you immense flexibility with your schedule, so take advantage by working out during times that other people find difficult.

For instance, can you go to the gym, go swimming, go jogging, or take a bike ride before noon while others are at the office?

Tayo Agagu, Engineering

Tayo Agagu

Currently working from: Cape Town, South Africa

1. Get used to asynchronous communication

Be comfortable with asynchronous communication.

Messages you send to teammates might not get an immediate response, but that’s okay.

Check out this post for a detailed description of how asynchronous communication can boost productivity: Asynchronous Communication: The Real Reason Remote Workers Are More Productive.

That’s us. What about you?

Of all the responses we got from our team, I think I liked the one from Melissa the best:

Feel free to ignore any and all suggestions that don’t work for you. What works for me may not work for you.

She’s right. Try things and see what works best for you. Keep what works. Ignore what doesn’t.

But always be open to getting better.

What Is E-commerce Customer Service? 5 Best Practices for ‘Small’ to Beat ‘Big’

Going up against behemoths like Amazon and Walmart can leave you feeling outclassed, outgunned, and out-funded. But, good news. E-commerce customer service is one of the last bastions where small absolutely crushes big.

Competition is fierce in the e-commerce world. You don’t need me to tell you that.

In the US, 10 companies now control 60.3% of all online retail sales. Somewhere between half and two-thirds of product searches begin on Amazon. And by 2021, fully 70.1% of all digital shoppers are expected to join the Amazon Prime parade.

With trillions in their war chests, the big names have conditioned customers to expect one- to two-day turnarounds, unlimited inventory, and rock-bottom prices.

But, expectations are meant to be exceeded. Especially when it comes to e-commerce customer service.

Are the behemoths really that good at catering to the customer? Do they provide personal support at scale? Are they innovating with the customer in mind?

Simply put: No. In fact, according to this year’s American Customer Satisfaction Index, “There is no improvement in the online shopping experience compared to a year ago—and most aspects have gotten worse.”

Every major online retailer tracked year-over-year declined. And take one guess which category ranks second to last. Yep, “helpfulness of customer support.”

helpfulness of customer support is the second-worst customer experience among top internet retailer
Data, sources, and best practices are available within the E-commerce Customer Service Guide

The truth is going up against the big names as a “small” name can be a huge advantage.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to creatively offload customer support requests, without offloading your customers or support itself. You’ll learn how to automate and integrate support using your current resources.

And we’ll show you how using the right tools — combined with five best practices — can make your business more personal, not less. While still getting more done.

What is e-commerce customer service?

E-commerce customer service provides the framework for supporting shoppers via e-commerce platforms and throughout their life cycles. Support for online businesses must account for the unique challenges involved with serving digital consumers:

  • High volumes of service and support requests
  • Common questions related to products, fulfillment, and returns
  • As well as the need to monitor multiple channels with fast response times

Amidst those concerns, customer experience reigns supreme. Your service team is tasked (quite literally) with being the voice of your brand—the one human touchpoint in an otherwise transaction and digital world.

For early stage companies, the fear of disjointed voices may not be as pressing. Likely because the people talking to customers are the same people who started the business. And that’s what customers love about small businesses.

But you will outgrow—or burnout from—the demanding job of customer support.

Your brand’s central voice will dissipate away from the core stakeholders. And this is where the big e-commerce stores fail. They accept this as an inevitability and focus on process rather than emotion. Because it’s easier to scale.

It’s possible to do both. Moreover, it’s necessary.

Download all 5 best practices (+2 bonus tips!) to learn the ropes of e-commerce customer service

5 e-commerce customer service best practices

“Best practices” tend to veer into hypotheticals. Lots of general advice that leaves you thinking, “Isn’t this common sense?”

Instead, we’ve paired it down to five tangible action items, each including examples and next steps, so you’ll know exactly how to move forward.

1. Pick an inbox that integrates with your e-commerce platform

Choose the best customer support software for your online store to create a solid foundation for customer service. Start by evaluating the tool agents use the most: The inbox.

shared inbox allows your team to keep up with customer requests and stay organized.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a shared inbox
Groove’s shared inbox

For e-commerce specifically, make sure your inbox offers an integration with your store’s platform to streamline your workflow. Tracking and collecting all the interactions a customer has with your brand in one place will pay dividends.

image of an ecommerce integration within a shared inbox
Groove’s Shopify integration provides a quick view of relevant customer information

An integration with your e-commerce platform allows support reps to see a total customer breakdown: Recent purchases, previous chats or calls, links to social media accounts, etc.

Moreover, your software should allow you to respond not just within the inbox, but through whatever service channel your customer initiated contact. Agents can respond quicker, and with more context, to every inquiry.

Other helpful help-desk features include:

  • Personalized folders for agents or teams
  • Priority folders sorted by severity of the request
  • Channel-based folders to separate submission sources
  • Folders for starred conversations you want to pay attention to
  • Time-based folders so nothing, and nobody, falls through the cracks

Even though I’m showing off Groove in this article—which is understandable, right?—I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Naturally, we think Groove is the best. 😉

But there’s always a chance it won’t be the right fit for your company.

For a tool-by-tool comparison, check out A Better Lemonade Stand’s 7 Customer Service Helpdesks for Ecommerce Stores: How Do They Compare?

2. Make self-service (knowledge base) your e-commerce frontline

knowledge base empowers prospective customers to make informed purchases by providing detailed answers to common questions. After they make a purchase, self-service reduces support volume and increases customer satisfaction.

Why? Because online shoppers genuinely want to help themselves…

90% of shoppers use self-service to find answers
Data from 80 Customer Service Statistics: 8 Lessons to Fuel Growth in 2019 and Beyond

To do this, the first step is ensuring you have a knowledge base. If you don’t, we put together a practical guide on how to create one. Then, keep your help center well organized—with clear sections and tutorials—so customers can easily find what they’re looking for.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a knowledge base
Parabo Press uses Groove’s knowledge base to answer common questions

Building a solid knowledge base saves both your customers’ and your customer service team’s time.

Make sure that all relevant information (faqs, deliveries, return policy, etc.) is easy to find through Google too. Eliminate yet another step in providing answers to your customers’ questions.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a knowledge base and google search results
When optimized correctly, Google search results display knowledge base articles for frequently asked e-commerce customer service questions

3. Measure and optimize what matters through smart reporting

From a business-wide perspective, there’s plenty to measure in e-commerce.

In fact, I’ve written extensively about both SaaS and e-commerce customer experience metrics: A guide that (to be honest) almost murdered me during the creation process!

The good news is—if I can master e-commerce customer analytics—anyone can. There you’ll find 10 metrics and step-by-step instructions for each…

Download the Customer Experience Analytics PDF

The even better news here is we can boil all that down to a handful of customer-related key-performance indicators (KPIs) within your helpdesk.

For e-commerce, you’ll want to track metrics like customer happiness, total conversations per day, and tag insights.

image of an ecommerce customer service example using a reporting dashboard
Groove’s Reporting dashboard optimized for e-commerce

Aim to reduce total conversations with a comprehensive knowledge base and website. See if you can improve customer happiness by personalizing responses or reducing response time. And encourage your team to tag trending topics as they see them, so you can alter the product or create a new knowledge base article.

Lastly, combine and monitor bottom-line metrics—like retention, repeat orders, and onsite reviews and rating—alongside your service-specific reporting.

4. Automate everything you can, without losing the personal touch

Automation is the secret sauce of good customer support. Done right, it allows your team to engage on a more personal level with more of your customers.

How? Most likely, you already automate a host of transaction messages: Order confirmations, receipts, and shipping notifications.

What you might not be automating are all the one-off or recurring conversations your customers send when they hit a snag. Common, low-value tasks—like “Where’s my order?” or “How do I return this?”—should likewise be automated so that your support reps can focus on more challenging cases.

But don’t overlook the obvious: Letting customers know you got their request and that you’re on it. During a recent study of ~1,000 small, medium, and large companies across the globe:

62% did not respond to customer service emails

90% did not acknowledge an email had been received

97% did not follow up with their customers are the first email
Source: SuperOffice Customer Service Benchmark Report

The easiest way to avoid those pitfalls is to set-up a personalized auto-reply that, instead of reading like bot-inspired gobbledygook…

bad example of ecommerce customer service

Reads like one human talking to another, while still being honest that it’s an “automatic reply”…

good example of ecommerce customer service
Groove’s auto-replies allow you to automate repetitive tasks

You can even set up automations to target specific customers with specific needs.

example of using auto-replies for better ecommerce customer service
Set up Rules in Groove to route, tag, or auto-respond to certain conversations

From that auto-reply foundation, you should also leverage what we at Groove call canned replies. Saved templates for common conversations you can add, edit, and send with just a few clicks:

Try out canned replies for yourself by signing up for a 15-day trial of Groove

Keep these replies creative, thoughtful, and in your brand’s voice. Just because it’s automated doesn’t mean it needs to sound like a robot.

5. Meet your e-commerce customers on the channels they prefer

Today’s customers have certain assumptions when it comes to communication. Online shoppers expect to be able to connect with their favorite brands over social media, email, real-time messaging, offline support channels, and phone calls.

But keeping up with a ton of different channels can be a huge challenge and hurt your team’s response time.

Unless you know how to connect it all through your helpdesk…

For example, here’s how we integrate Twitter within the Groove inbox for our own customer service:

Twitter mentions funnel through the Groove Inbox

Rather than force an agent to stop what they’re doing and check social media every day (or hour), funnel all your communications through the inbox with integrations.

That same simple process also applies to Facebook:

Facebook mentions funnel through the Groove Inbox

As for live chat and phone support? Absolutely. Both of those sources should likewise be integrated into your centralized help desk software—along with any other communication channels you know your customers care about and use:

communication channels: email, ticketing, phone, SMS, social media, live chat

No missed messages. And no wasted time moving between platforms.

When you proactively listen to your customers’ conversations, whether they happen within your own inbox or through offline channels, you can better serve their needs.

Two bonus e-commerce best practices

6. Outsource e-commerce customer service cautiously

Support is usually the first (and often the only) line of communication customers have with your brand. Offloading it to another company is a big risk.

However, that doesn’t mean outsourcing support is a nonstarter. In some cases (during a holiday boom or when you’re experiencing a surge in sales), it may be the only way to quickly scale your support.

“When businesses grow past $10M-$20M in revenue—larger than five customer service representatives—leaders often find it challenging to maintain quality and keep costs within budget.

Vincent Phamvan

Vincent PhamvanCMO and Head of Growth at Simplr

“By $50M in revenue, scaling the same level of customer experience in-house as when they were a smaller company is very challenging.

“Here’s how Gavin Storey from Tipsy Elves described scaling internally as at a recent virtual summit for the CXLife community:

It was well-intended, but it turns into the blind leading the blind. You have a new, temporary supervisory team leading a new, temporary staffing team and all you’re doing is managing. You’re putting out fires. You’re being reactionary. You can’t be responsive. 

“This is where it may start to make sense to look at a third-party partner (often called a call center or business process outsourcer BPO). Outsourcing customer service can provide a brand with resources to handle much higher volumes with consistent execution by leveraging their playbook. This also can save a company between 20-50% in customer service costs while also expanding hours of operations to cover more hours and days.”

What were the outsourcing results for Gavin?

Our CSAT rating is higher than it has ever been historically. It’s consistently maintaining that pace and we would never have been able to do that, taking it on our own.

If you’re considering this, have your own team test and finalize your processes first. Then, clearly lay out your standards to the third party. Directives and priorities should still come from you.

For business below ~$10 million in annual sales, the right move is to hire, train, adopt software, and improve processes for your own customer service team. Only into eight figures should you begin looking for a trusted partner who you can thoroughly vet by…

  • Visiting their facilities
  • Test driving the experience without their knowledge
  • And interviewing existing clients with similar needs and customers

7. Take every opportunity to ‘wow’ customers, cause the big names don’t

With customers quickly coming and going, relationships in e-commerce tend to be fleeting. If you can provide an absolutely spectacular customer experience though, you maximize the chance of them remaining loyal.

But what exactly does it take to delight a potential customer?

Many companies assume it’s speed. When you prioritize response time above all else though, other factors fall to the wayside.

And the truth is, customers care just as much about the friendliness of the rep as getting an accurate resolution to their problem.

most important aspects of customer experience include both speed and friendliness
Source

Often, these expectations require taking extra time to fully understand the problem and respond with empathy. Give your team the time and creative space to wow customers whenever they see an opportunity.

Excellent customer service is the growth engine for e-commerce brands

Without a doubt, great customer service offers a competitive advantage for your e-commerce business in a crowded marketplace. Everyone acknowledges this, but few understand how to properly implement it.

Start with the right tools to set up a strong foundation. Then, create systems to allow your support team to scale their resources.

The most important of those resources being your brand’s unique voice and ability to form personal connections.

Originally posted by MELISSA ROSEN @ Groove

How to Market Supplements Effectively

The nutritional supplement industry is growing fast in the United States. The demand for products that promote health and wellness is driven by a rapidly aging population, concern for chronic diseases, as well as an increasingly health-conscious younger generation. In turn, this creates stiff competition for business owners who choose to venture into this industry.

As a business owner, your main goal is to create a high-quality product that can stand out in a sea of rivals. Apart from making sure that you use high-quality ingredients and employ good manufacturing processes, it’s also important to market your supplement business effectively and help it stand out from the competition. Today, we’ll be talking about four simple ways to promote and distinguish your products from the crowd. Let’s get started!

Understand Your Target Market

Knowing your audience plays a key role in selling any product. Your marketing strategy should be a reflection of who your target demographic is so you need to understand who they are, what they like, and where they are. Typically, people who consume nutritional supplements are those with medical issues or are motivated by wellness, fitness, and preventive medicine. 

Consumer research can help you come up with the most efficient marketing strategy. By understanding your audience, you can design products that well-suited to their tastes and needs, create compelling promotional materials, and use advertising methods that will inspire people to buy your products.

Develop a Compelling Supplement Packaging Design

Packaging design plays a crucial role in the marketability of your product. As the face of your product line, it should look professionally-made, attractive, easy to read, and designed with your target market in mind. 

An eye-catching label and packaging design can help your supplements fly off the shelves. In this sense, it is important to leverage your product’s label and packaging real estate to draw your customers in. Evaluate packaging and design styles used by your competitors and determine how you can make yours stand out. You can also work with professional graphic designers to come up with a design that best suits your brand.

Have FDA-Compliant Labels

Apart from being attractive to your customers, your label should also comply with the standards set by the Food and Drug Administration. They have regulations on general labeling, identity statements, nutrition labeling, ingredient labeling, claims, net quantity of contents, as well as pre-market notification of new dietary ingredients. 

Your supplements should comply with these guidelines otherwise, you risk your product being legally barred from US distribution. This is a costly and time-consuming issue that can hurt your business. To avoid this, it is best to work with designers who have experience in creating labels that are FDA-compliant.

Bring Your Products to the Digital Sphere

In this digital age, your marketing strategy should involve the internet. Think social media, health and fitness websites, and other online channels where your target audience tends to gather. 

Digital marketing is a useful tool for spreading the word about your product and ensuring sales for your business. You can leverage fans and social media influencers as a form of word-of-mouth marketing. You can also use videos as well as affiliate marketing programs to reach a broader audience.

Eat This Starch to Zap Fat off Your Body

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So many individuals have the misconception that all starch is bad for you to eat. However, with resistance starch this may not be the case.  Foods that contain this particular starch are rice, pasta, bread, grains and an American favorite, potatoes. When you ingest these foods, some of them will pass through the smaller intestine and hang out to act as fiber does in our bodies.

Multiple types of research have shown that this can be beneficial to our body. It could benefit you by aiding in fat loss, better digestion, a healthier gut and help you to feel less hungry. Here are a few examples of starchy food to benefit your body.

 

  1. This is really one of the most important resistance starches you will want to remember. Food that has been cooked then cooled. This means that your body can not digest them until they are prepared by cooking them.
  2. Potatoes and Plantains because they are starch that must be cooked in order for your body to digest them. This is the indigestible starch category as well as beans, grains and seeds just because they should be cooked in order for you to digest.

 

Studies are finding that most Americans are not getting all the starch they need each day for a balanced diet. It is recommended that each individual eat 6 grams each meal to reach maximum health benefits. This is far from the case; we are only eating around 5 grams per day, much less than the recommended daily suggestion. You can increase your levels by preparing your meals to include starch in them; you are probably going to plan out your meals anyway since you are working toward a healthier body. Keep in mind, to slowly add starch to you diet just as you would fiber if you were trying to increase it.

Whey or Casein for Building Muscle?

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Which choice is best for you? There are some important facts to know about each in order for you to make an educated decision. It depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your body and how your body reacts to each one.  After you read this article you will have a better understanding and be able to pick the best choice for you.

  • Casein comes directly from milk and isn’t leftover from milk made goods. Whey is pretty much what is left from making cheese.
  • One very important thing concerning whey protein, it has a mixture of proteins known for boosting the immune system.
  • Casein is the best choice for you if you want a better muscle and strength builder and casein is a better fat buster than whey.
  • Micellar casein and casein hydrolysate may cost more than others you will find on the market, but are worth the value for your body.
  • To get the best of both worlds, purchase a blend of both protein powders whey and casein. If you want the protein choice for maximizing workout nourishment casein hydrolysate is king.

Whey protein comes in three forms. Whey Concentrate, Whey Isolate, and Whey Hydrolysate are the options to choose from and the differences are worth paying attention to.

Work- Out Guide for a Beginner

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Going to the gym can sometimes be overwhelming if you are new and have never even set foot into a gym before. The machines are new as well as the giant guy next to you. It’s obvious he has been doing this his whole life. Strength training is important to getting in shape and is a must. All you really need is to do a few days a week of weights and you will be set. Cardio is a great way to get started but is will not get into the shape you need to be in all by itself.

In order to maximize your resting metabolic rate, you need to focus on a few days a week of resistance training. You will see many results and benefits for your body and the reward is great. It will allow you to burn more calories while resting, improve balance and lower blood pressure. If you are just beginning start with this information below and you will see the outcome you hope to in a short time.

Don’t forget to get started the right way. Always give yourself time to warm up with some cardio. Start with a quick walk or light jog. Stretching is also a great way to get muscles warmed up and ready to go. It can help by getting muscles loose as well as boost range of motion.

Gluten- Free Diet, Is it for You?

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Is gluten really bad for you? Each time you go to the grocery store, you probably find new gluten -free products.  You may find pizza, brownie mix and even bread that are now considered in this specific category. This article will help you determine just what science says about it and hopefully will clear some things up for you.

It almost seems that it is not the norm to walk into the grocery store or any place to eat without finding gluten-free on the menu. The smaller sandwich shops are even serving gluten-free so that they can make all customers happy. This can be a good thing if you have celiac disease or a negative response from gluten, but what about the rest of us? Did you know that only 1% of Americans have celiac disease?

For the small amount of individuals that have this disease, it is vital to their health to eat gluten-free. Many of them will suffer from the effects that gluten can have on their small intestine and problems can range from IBS to wheat sensitivity. What you may find interesting is that so many of us are obsessed with gluten-free products when we have never had one issue with it.

Ladies, Lift Weights, Lose Fat and Get Leaner!

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Don’t get caught up in trying to reduce your weight or decrease the size of a certain body part so that you have a result in the end that leaves you skinny, frail, out of shape and metabolically challenged. Even when fat loss is number one on your things to do for your body check list, do your best to keep muscle. You never want to sacrifice your muscle and end up with muscle loss. Having muscle means your body will burn calories faster and you will look tighter as well as feel great.

Four Methods to Building Muscle

  1. Find your one rep max. Then zero in on it, test and set PR’s, then take the time to get with high weight and low reps. It’s time to get out of your comfort zone and try something different. You don’t always have to go crazy over that muscle burn sensation every time.
  2. If you are like me and you enjoy working out with a slow and controlled movement each time, then make an adjustment for a power lift. This will allow you to add more power movement. Make an attempt and allow different things to find what works for you for example, kettlebell swings. You can use anything that might make you use all the speed and power you have.
  3. This is a great opportunity to zone in on muscle groups that will enhance your body. Usually delts, lats and the famous glutes are prime areas for women. All other muscle groups will fall right into place and this just may add the curves right where you welcome them.
  4. Time under tension. Even if you are able to lift a pretty heavy weight for one or two reps, this will not get you muscle mass. You will have to obtain it with time under tension. When you have drained yourself with full range of motion try back-off sets, drop sets and also partials. Remember, time under tension is how you can calculate the total amount of work you place on a muscle not how much weight you can lift and exhaust your muscle.

Now that you have the tools to get out into the gym and have a successful work out to maintain that figure you’ve always wanted. Go for it, after all, you are worth all the effort it takes.

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